Heilemann: Can Obama Handle the Awakened Media Beast?
So what to make of Monstergate? On the surface, the campaign controversy du jour could hardly be a more straightforward story. A few days ago, Samantha Power, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author and Harvard scholar who served until a few hours ago as one of Barack Obama’s top foreign-policy advisers, was quoted by the Edinburgh-based daily The Scotsman heaping scorn on Hillary Clinton: “She’s a monster, too — that is off the record — she is stooping to anything … You just look at her and think, ‘Ergh.’” This morning, as word of the incendiary indiscretion spread (the story led the Today show) and the fever mounted, a number of congressional Clinton backers demanded that Power resign from the campaign. “It’s really a test for Obama,” said Representative Nita Lowey of New York, and she was right. For months now, Obama has vowed to fire anyone on his staff who “is involved in trying to tear people down personally,” as he put it in December. So Power’s exit late this morning was, in a sense, inevitable.
early and often
Samantha Power Thinks Hillary Clinton Is a Problem From HellBarack Obama’s foreign-policy adviser, Samantha Power, went negative on Hillary Clinton to the The Scotsman yesterday. Like, really negative. While traveling in the U.K. to promote her book Chasing the Flame, about U.N. representative Sergio Vieira de Mello, the Pulitzer winner lamented the Ohio primary — “We fucked up in Ohio” — and kinda let loose about Obama’s rival. “She is a monster,” she told the paper, before quickly trying to pull the statement off the record. (The paper was having none of it, noting that Power was promoting her book and it had been established in advance that the interview was on the record.) Regardless, Power’s on-the-record statements weren’t much gentler. “She is stooping to anything,” she said of Clinton. “You just look at her and think: ergh … The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive.” All right then! Now tell us how you really feel. Power later apologized and Obama “decried” the statement (wonder whether Hillary will call him out on not “rejecting” it instead?). We also learned today that Hillary’s team is trying to slap Obama with the Ken Starr name tag, but let’s be honest — “monster” is much more catchy.
Inside US poll battle as fight turns dirty for Democrats [Scotsman]
Update: Power just resigned, issuing the following statement: “With deep regret, I am resigning from my role as an adviser to the Obama campaign effective today. Last Monday, I made inexcusable remarks that are at marked variance from my oft-stated admiration for Senator Clinton and from the spirit, tenor and purpose of the Obama campaign.”